tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 12, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
suppressed and disenfranchised. i joined oths in florida with operation lemonade. when you see how close these votes are, imagine if some people were not allowed to vote. it might have altered the outcome. we didn't tell people how to vote. we made sure people could vote. and because people could vote, it only increased democracy. it only increased people's participation. we need to make sure as we overhaul the system people can vote in a nation that stands and claims to be a shining light of democracy. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. the lost world of newt gingrich, mitt romney, and karl rove. let's play "hardball." ♪
good evening. i'm chris matthews on veterans day up here in boston. let me start tonight with this. it's a war of the worlds. one world is where you live. for you, america is a land of many people and many places. there's the deep south of cotton fields and warm summers. there's the california coast of sunny beaches and highways. there are rural areas where agriculture is king, a magnet for those ready for hard work. there are big cities in this world of yours, chicago, new york, miami, all rich in ethnicity and spicy in their diversity. there are suburbs where people take a tolerant view, where the prevalent attitude is live and let live. in this america, your america, there are whites, blacks, latinos, people whose families came here from the asian pacific. there are progressives, moderates, and conservatives all engaged in a running argument about the kind of country they want to live in. the role they want this country playing around the globe. how we ought to be protecting
ourselves. okay. that's how you see it. i got another world for you. it's mainly traditional, culturally conservative, closed in, if you will. it doesn't go to the movies. it keeps its entertainment options to reality tv. wouldn't think to catch national public radio or pbs. it doesn't really like those things. and it certainly didn't get thrilled when obama won the first time. pretty miserable now that he's won again. in fact, it can't believe it. it looks at your america, this world of the actual election results, as a stranger in a strange land. for days now it's been in a daze wandering around wondering, what gimmick switched the channels? what odd happening bounced them from the world they believed in, saw all around them, to the world they find themselves so suddenly and shockingly now a part of, the world that is truly undeniably america. i'm joined to talk about this by the former rnc chair michael steele and mother jones washington bureau chief david corn. he's the author of the ebook "47 percent ,"a great book and a great get. he's an msnbc political analyst. let's start now.
in politico jonathan martin describes the gop media cocoon writing, in this reassuring conservative pocket universe rasmussen polls are gospel, the benghazi controversy is worse than watergate, fair and balanced isn't just marketing, and dick morris is a political seer. this morning former house speaker and republican presidential candidate newt gingrich said he never saw the gop defeat even coming and said it's time for a serious republican postmortem. let's listen to newt. >> i was wrong last week, as was virtually every major republican analyst. and so you have to stop and say to yourself, if i was that far off, what do i need to learn to better understand america? the president won an extraordinary victory, and the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it, but if you had said to me three weeks ago mitt romney would get fewer votes than john mccain, and it looks like he'll be 2 million fewer, i would have been dumbfounded.
>> michael, thanks for joining us. we have had a good time arguing and discussing things, occasionally agreeing on things but often not. let me ask you about that republican world view. i wonder what color the sky is. how did they see this election the way rasmussen pollsters would see it, basically a romney romp? how did they get it so wrong? >> i think there was a feeding into a mythology that somehow the country would categorically reject the president because we had, that the country would somehow say to itself, you know, we can't live with this new land of big government health care, big government spending, et cetera, because we can't. and that's fine. the problem was in articulating to the american people why we can't live with those things, why those things are bad, and instead, as you have noted many times on this program, we got waylaid by conversations about women's bodies and abortion and things that didn't go to the nub of what was moving the electorate, and i think right now newt is absolutely right. ti's going to require a level of soul searching that i don't
think this party has ever really done before where it's not about oh, gee, should we be more conservative or less conservative? it should be how do we define conservatism? because i define it as a lincoln republican, as something that recognizes your invaluable gift to this country as a whole and the freedom that is the constitution imbues in you is something that makes us a great nation, so life, liberty, and happiness mean something. and the government, yeah, has a role, but it's a limited role. so those are the kinds of contexts i think we need to begin to have this soul searching and really understanding exactly do we really want to stay in that sort of moral majority mindset or do we want to get into a 21st century mindset that recognizes just how diverse this country is and how valuable an asset they are to our party? >> yeah. david, i just think that you're right there, but i think there's more to it. i think republicans looked at the universe in which they felt set upon even though they're the top 1% in many cases.
they didn't understand the anger this country had toward economic unfairness, and they wondered why republicans treated women as a secondary part of the population. i think that's the way it came across. your thoughts, david? >> the republicans drowned in a sea of spin within an echo chamber within a time machine. there are so many levels of denial that led them to this point, it's stunning. first of all, they didn't understand that, as you said earlier, chris, the type of country we are now demographically, culturally. they thought most americans also agreed with them that barack obama was an evil, maniacal figure purposefully leading america to ruin. you have the birthers on the far end of that. but even so, they thought -- they portrayed him as being feckless, someone who apologizes for america, and they said the economy was worsening when actually it's not worsening. it's getting better, not fast enough. they just again and again were not in tune with the -- whether it's polls, whether attitudes towards women. it was 1950s versus 2012.
so it's not surprising to me they feel dumbfounded now. they ran a campaign that was predicated on a lot of false assumptions and also false assertions about the president. >> it must have been confounding to realize that the guy they said was not one of us, michael, was somehow the other, turned out to be the leader of the country. >> well, yeah. >> that's a big mistake to make. >> slight mistake there. >> that's a big mistake. >> it's a very big mistake, and i think, again, and i said this when i was rnc chairman, the responsibility of the party is not to go after obama but to go after the policies that he's defining for the nation and make the counterargument. when we fail to do that, much to david's point, you do come off tin eared, you do come off deaf to exactly what people are thinking. it's not enough to say that the
economy is bad. show us how you make it better, and when it starts to improve, and this is i think a critical point, we never acknowledged the good things that were happening in the economy for people who were once unemployed who were now employed. >> your party also went the demonization route. it's kind of funny to listen to newt gingrich on the "today" show do his mea culpa when he spent two years saying the only way you can understand obama is to see him as an anti-colonialist kenyan. now he's surprised that he's out of step with most of the country because he listened to -- >> but -- >> who is creating the firepower within your party, ex-chairman michael? >> i appreciate that, but i will give newt his due. he manned up and said i was wrong. >> he accidentally got this wrong. he was close to the truth there, but he accidentally got it wrong. he was onto something that this guy was an anti-colonial kenyan. he just missed it by a few notches. is that it? give me a break. >> missed it by that much.
>> you can pile on newt all you want to -- >> let's take a look at this. i keep thinking -- remember that old new york -- remember that old "new yorker" cartoon of a new yorker's view of the universe, a guy looked across the hudson and saw jersey and the next sign post was utah. the whole country was like this foreign place. anyway, that's i think some of the republican mindset right now. right before this election on fox news, we're going to give you some golden oldies, reaching back into the stack. republican commentator dick morris, i love the comment, was fully immersed in the gop alternative reality. let's listen to mr. morris. >> so you are standing by your prediction of a romney landslide? >> absolutely. romney will win this election by five to ten points in the popular vote and will carry more than 300 electoral votes. >> you know, i think we ought to bring back the public stocks from new england where if you're a pollster -- not even a pollster. they do the numbers.
these people with their outlandish partisan so-called predictions ought to have to sit there in the public square for a couple weeks so we can all realize who was telling us bs. anyway, conservative david frum, who is smart guy, described the confluence of the republican groups and agendas that led to the gop alternative reality. let's listen to him, mr. frum. he was on "morning joe" last week. >> the real locus of the problem is the republican activist base and the republican donor base. they went apocalyptic over the past four years, and that was exploited by a lot of people in the conservative world. the conservative followership has been fleeced, exploited, and lied to by the conservative entertainment complex. what happened to mitt romney was he was twisted into pretzels. the people who put the cement shoes on his feet are now blaming him for sinking. >> that's a little -- >> michael, what's the conservative entertainment complex? >> i don't know. you have to ask david what he was referring to. i think he probably was largely referring to folks who are in tv and radio and in print media who were, you know, articulating and perpetuating some of the very things that we're talking about
that clearly were wrong. not only about what this election would turn out to be but ultimately what the country would see this election as, and i think david has got it exactly right. there was a lot of folks taken advantage of here in many respects, and that's got to be a part of the conversation as well. the honesty the party now has to confront is real, it's palpable. i have said it on your show before. if we don't do it, we go the way of the whigs. america has clearly said they've had enough of what we've been doing so far. >> when you don't have good leaders with a degree of courage -- >> but we do. we do, david. >> let me finish, michael, then what happens is the grassroots listen to glenn beck and rush and they tune into fox news and that alternative reality and they don't see beyond it and they can't be led beyond it. that's what david frum was talking about. they've been fleeced for ratings, and they've been fleeced by conservative groups that put out these e-mails. i get them all the time.
barack obama is taking your guns away from you. barack obama is turning this country into a combination of naziism and socialism. obama care is going -- >> gentlemen, i think i have the problem, michael. michael, i want you to listen to this. suppose -- well, you are african-american. >> yeah. yeah. >> here we go. would you like the first president who comes from that background to be called a racist by glenn beck? a racist? because of what? no reason. if you're a woman in the executive world, would you like to be called a femi-nazi from rush limbaugh? it isn't like somebody dreamed up this horrible rejectionism on the part of these people on the right. it's fair enough to say they're not office seekers because you couldn't seek office and talk like this, but your party gets blamed for this racket. >> let's not let mitt romney off the hook.
he embraced donald trump. he goes on rush limbaugh, embraces fox news, and so he gives the legitimate republican establishment seal of approval to a lot of nonsense, and then he ends up getting bit in the backside because of it. >> i think a lot of us would say throughout the campaign that he should not do that for that very reason. that it does come back to bite you. and to be quite honest with you, this happens on both sides. the focus is on the gop hotheads who say this stuff, and that becomes the narrative for every republican in the country. that's not true. that is not the fact. the fact is though, to a point that was raised earlier, there are those leaders in the party right now, and my expectation is they need to emerge. they need to emerge to really begin to right the course of this party and the direction it's going. period. >> one big difference in this
argument for symmetry, which i know is very nonpartisan and you may have a point but i don't think it's the right one, the fact is that this election proved that the arguments made on the center left and to some extent on the progressive side turned out to be a majority view. and the arguments about the reality in which we live made on the right wing side and even the center right turned out not to be the reality in which we live. you know how we know that? from the election results. the majority of the american people supported the point of view coming from the president, who i would argue is center left. he's been described as left, mostly center left, and that point of view turned out to be the popular one. on the objective question who spoke for the american majority, it turns out it was to the people left of center. that's just a fact of the numbers. thank you, michael steele. >> one of the great things about this election for all three of us here, we all care about policy, we have our different views. this was the most ideological election we have had in years because exactly what you just said, chris. the president laid out a clear vision, and mitt romney laid out a clear vision, too, and at the convention paul ryan's speech was one of the most ideological acceptance speeches in recent memory.
and so it was really up to the voters to decide, and they did. >> i will submit there was not much clear about the agenda the president laid out, but we can have that discussion as we go forward. >> thank you. i'll tell you there was a clear agenda from glenn beck and rush limbaugh, and it wasn't felicitous toward a lot of americans. thank you, michael steele, as always. and david corn. coming up, why general petraeus resigned. if he did, as it seems the honorable thing by resigning, what's all the continuing buzz about? we have to find out what's going on in the background. also, more than $1 billion was spent on ads this political season, tv ads. we're going to talk about the one ad, the one ad, that did more to sink mitt romney than all the others and how it got done. this is fascinating. it's a fascinating ad because it really worked. closing down the clown show. at least part of it. if the democrats had a list of republicans they wanted to beat, allen west's name would have been right at the top or near it. meet the man who may well have sent allen west packing, patrick murphy.
looks like he's ahead in the vote in florida. before we put the election to bed, let's take a fond look back at what one republican called the conservative loons and wackos who made campaign 2012 such a great spectator thing to watch. >> president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. >> what a snob. rick santorum was hardly alone, and there's much more where that came from in the "sideshow." this is "hardball," the place for politics. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
than giving her a diamond is surprising her with one. save the surprise. shop online and ship to any zales store free. only at the diamond store. ♪ i'm lost in the light nate silver of the "new york times" was one of the big winners, and he released the list of best and worst polls from the presidential campaign. of all the pollsters that released at least five polls in the last three weeks before the election, the most accurate was tipp.
in second place, google. among the least accurate polls this time around was mason dixon with an average over five points, but the least accurate pollster of all was gallup. the firm with the famous name had an average error of over seven points. by the way, republican polling firm rasmussen was fourth from the bottom with an average error of more than four points. we'll be right back. [ knock on door ] cool. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] got to go. priority mail flat rate boxes. online pricing starts at $5.15. only from the postal service.
[ all shouting ] put it down! be cool! everybody, just be cool! does it price better on the side? no, it just looks cooler. the name your price tool, only from progressive. call or click today. i got you covered. thank you. oh, you're so welcome. welcome back to "hardball." david petraeus' resignation last friday came as a shock to many in washington. petraeus stepped down after news of an extramarital affair broke out. here is what we know about the time line of how the events unfolded. back in early june the fbi began investigating what it described as menacing e-mails sent anonymously to a woman close to petraeus. well, the e-mails allegedly came from paula broadwell, who the fbi later discovered was having an affair with the cia director. well, the fbi wrapped its investigation on november 2nd after it interviewed petraeus and broadwell. but "the new york times" reports the fbi concluded there was no evidence petraeus committed any crime or breached any security problem.
on election day the fbi notified james clapper, he's the director of national intelligence, about the investigation. the next day he told people in the white house. that was clapper. but the president wasn't informed until the following day, november 8th. lawmakers have expressed anger they weren't informed earlier about the investigation. here is dianne feinstein, who chairs the senate intelligence committee, today. >> this thing just came so fast and so hard, and since then it's been like peeling an onion. every day another peel comes off and you see a whole new dimension to this. so my concern has actually escalated over the last few days. >> republican congressman peter king of new york said the timeline that he sees here doesn't add up. >> once the fbi realized it was investigating the director of the cia or the cia director had come within the focus of its scope, i believe at that time they had an absolute obligation to tell the president.
not to protect david petraeus, but to protect the president. and to have someone out there in such a sensitive position who the fbi thought perhaps could have been compromised or was under the scope of an fbi investigation who may or may not have been having an affair at the time, that to me had to have been brought to the president or certainly to the national security council. if not, the fbi was derelict in its duty. >> what's really going on here? pete williams is nbc news justice correspondent. thank you, pete, for coming on. if there's no allegation of criminal wrongdoing, what's got congress all up in arms here? >> well, i think it's a policy matter, chris. i think they believe that this is the kind of thing the president should have known, that the congressional committee should have known because they think there's the potential for trouble here. whenever somebody is having an affair -- you heard what peter king just said. i can tell you what the justice department and the fbi say. they say a couple things.
number one, they don't inform other agencies when they're in the middle of a criminal investigation. they were trying to figure out what this thing was and didn't really reach any conclusions until just before the election, a week or so before the elections. number two, they say that the statues that govern when congressional committees are informed say that they should be notified of all, quote, intelligence activities, and they concluded that the cia director's affair wasn't an intelligence activity. finally, of course, there's the fact that the affair apparently ended in july, and some are saying that by telling the fbi about it, by admitting it to the fbi, he's basically taking away any possibility after that point he could be blackmailed. it really comes down to not a legal obligation but the policy question about whether congress should have been told almost anyway. >> well, let me ask you -- you know the protocols and the ethics in these cases. is the dci, the director of central intelligence, because of the nature of being a spy master, if something like this -- not to defend any kind of extramarital behavior.
if something like this happened to another cabinet member, for example, would there have been an automatic resignation? maybe there would be in the current environment. i can't tell anymore what the standards are sometimes. >> well, you know, i don't know. >> i mean it. >> i doubt that. i think you're probably right. and certainly it doesn't apply to members of congress, but they're elected officials and these are appointed officials. the fbi basically says we decided to tell the dni, the director of national intelligence, james clapper, when we were all done what happened here because we thought he should know as, in essence, a personnel matter. under the new system the director of the cia reports to clapper. clapper is his boss, and they thought that clapper should know. he controls the security clearances. let him make the decision about whether it was proper to keep david petraeus on the job. obviously clapper felt it wasn't and told petraeus he ought to resign.
>> i guess it's one of those cases once people know about it, the catch-22 is you have to do something about it or else you're part of the cover-up. maybe that's the way they look at it. pete williams, as always, thank you, sir. >> that's right. >> do you have a thought? >> i was going to say one other thing, by certainly mid to late october petraeus knows he's under investigation. he knows that the fbi knows about this. but he doesn't decide to go and tell the white house and offer to resign until clapper tells him to do so. >> more information. thank you so much, pete, for that reporting. more on the politics of the petraeus scandal, if you will. eugene robinson is an associate editor and columnist for "the washington post." also an msnbc political analyst. gene, this sense here -- let me show you something. some are howling about the timing of the resignation. he was set to testify about benghazi. here is ralph peters, an analyst for fox news. this is what i'm talking about, this emerging conspiracy theory, and here it is coming from fox. let's watch. >> as an old intelligence
analyst, the way i read it, and i could be totally wrong, this is my interpretation is that the administration was unhappy with petraeus not playing ball 100% on their party line story. i think he was getting cold feet about testifying under oath and their party line story, and i suspect these tough chicago guys knew of this affair for a while, held it in their back pocket until they needed to play the card. >> see, it's not dead yet, that point of view you're getting in that voice there. the dark, conspiratorial voice about these chicago guys. of course, benghazi is the biggest thing in the universe. here is bob woodward, your colleague, gene, he's reported the testimony would likely give support. petraeus' testimony coming up next week was likely to support what happened as the administration described it. let's take a look at what bob said. >> it turns out that petraeus a week and a half ago went to tripoli, libya, and conducted his own personal inquiry into
benghazi, interviewed the station chief, actually got the base chief from benghazi down, interviewed him, interviewed the head i think twice of the quick reaction force that was involved in this episode, so he knows the full story. >> what was going to be the takeaway from what petraeus would have presented had he testified? >> i think it would have backed up the white house. >> there you have it from the top investigative reporter in modern times, bob woodward, saying petraeus was basically on the side of the administration's point of view and what happened in benghazi and their reporting of it. now you have the right wing already suggesting that he was basically snooped on and outed, if you will, in his affair to shut him up. they're already getting crazy about this thing, i think. >> yeah. this has nothing to do with benghazi. first of all, petraeus has been very supportive, his version of events has been the white house version of events all along, and
now that he's done this further investigation, i believe bob that he was going to support the white house. second, they can still call him. congress can call him to the hill as a private citizen or cia director or joe willy walking down the street. they have subpoena power. so that somehow this was supposed to shut him up is crazy. but, you know, what we have here is -- he's the head of the cia, so this immediately becomes a spy novel, and you're never going to convince people that there are coincidences in a spy novel. so the fact that the director of national intelligence hears about it on election day is always going to give rise to conspiracy theories. >> well said. by the way, i think it's interesting what you raise there. i think this is what you said, that if you wanted to keep him on your side of the argument, if you wanted to keep him making your case, you wouldn't humiliate him and kick him out of office by betraying his personal relationship, his extramarital affair. that would be one way to enrage
him. >> no, you wouldn't do that. and what pete williams just pointed out i think is salient. petraeus kind of knew about this, so he made some decisions in october about not coming forward, not talking to the director of national intelligence, not talking to the white house. so at some point i suspect he's going to be asked questions about his role in ultimately disclosing this affair. he seems for obvious reasons not to have been anxious to do so. >> oh, god. i guess everybody out there has a choice. either go pay the money to see "sky fall ,"the new bond movie, or watch this story unfold. i hate to see people hurt on this. eugene robinson. up next, we've heard crazy stuff from conservatives running for office, and some of those conservatives won and some lost. when we return, we'll open up that can of mixed nuts, if you will, and play back the wackiest of the bunch. that's going to be fun. this is "hardball," the place
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>> to many swing voters in the press when you hear the word conservative now, they think of loons and wackos. >> loons and wackos. let's look at what steve is talking about here. >> president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. >> i don't know how much god has to do to get the attention of the politicians. we've had an earthquake, we've had a hurricane. he said, are you going to start listening to me here? >> the third agency of government, i would do away with education, the -- >> commerce. >> commerce and let's see. i can't -- the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> do you agree with president obama on libya or not? >> okay, libya. >> i've come to understand that
all that stuff i was taught about evolution and embryology and big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. >> president obama, quit lying. you know darn well if august 2nd comes and goes there's plenty of money to pay off our debt. you're either in over your head, you don't understand what makes this country great, or you're hell bent in turning us into some european big government wasteland. >> um, i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. no, that's a different one. >> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> there's so much at stake, i hope you will join me in supporting richard mourdock for u.s. senate. >> it would have been awfully
hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of barack obama being born in hawaii and get that into our public libraries. that doesn't mean there aren't some other explanations on how they might have announced that by telegram from kenya. >> i'm looking at steve king. this man needs to be your congressman again. i want him as my partner in washington, d.c. >> i don't believe the earth is 9,000 years old. >> got all this stuff twirling around in my head. >> so thanks for the memories. anyway, joe walsh didn't win re-election, but michele bachmann and steve king are back by popular demand, and texas governor rick perry hasn't ruled out another run. wow. up next, the campaign ad that may have done the most damage to mitt romney this election, and it has nothing to do with jeep. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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here's what's happening. andrew quou he know plans to ask for $30 billion in federal aid to rebuild after sandy. funds would be used for you power grid improvements and fuel upgrades. leon pa net dnetta says the oba administration is close to a decision on troop levels after 2014. and israeli tanks fired in syria for a second day after a motor shell fell into israeli controlled territory. back to "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." over the past year we've shown you scores of political ads running the gamut from morgan freeman's dulcet tones at the end of the election cycle to the ominous voices warning of newt gingrich and rick perry presidencies during the election.
one ad seems to have a lasting and damaging effect on mitt romney's chances. that ad, a low-budget spot produced for the obama super pac priorities usa, framed the narrative of mitt romney as a heartless corporate tycoon without a care for the working man. jane mayer covers politics for "the new yorker," and she has a terrific piece on the ad in this week's magazine, and joy reid is managing editor of the grio. let's begin with that ad. this is called stage. >> out of the blue one day we were told to build a 30-foot stage. gathered the guys and we built that 30-foot stage not knowing what it was for. just days later all three shifts were told to assemble in the warehouse. a group of people walked out on that stage and told us that the plant is now closed and all of you are fired. i looked both ways, i looked at
the crowd, and we all just lost our jobs. we don't have an income. mitt romney made over $100 million by shutting down our plant and devastated our lives. turns out that when we built that stage, it was like building my own coffin. and it just made me sick. >> jane mayer, great piece today in "the new yorker." thank you for that and tell me what the impact was in obviously ohio and places like that in that part of the country, the industrial part of the country. >> well, you know, it's always hard to measure scientifically, but they did some internal studies on this ad that showed in places that it showed, the trustworthiness of romney was 11 points behind that of obama, and in places where it didn't show, it was just 5 points behind. it gave them a 7-point boost in
terms of totally undermining romney's trustworthiness, and i think one of the things that interested me was it looks like an ad maybe about unemployment, but what it really is is an ad about romney's character, and particularly this issue of trustworthiness is what they found in their internal research. it made people who watched it think he was profiting from laying people off and breaking promises to fund people's pensions and their health care plans, and those things were just -- it was a killer ad. >> you know, joy, we've been on so often and we've talked about this, but here you have a portrait, a real life portrait, of somebody who would have people build a stage, almost like digging their own grave and have them troop up on the stage and tell them you're dead here, you're finished. it's almost macabre. >> we have talked about bill clinton as a super surrogate for barack obama. mike, the guy in that ad, he's a super anti-surrogate, an
anti-validator of mitt romney. he looks like the voter that barack obama needed to change sides, that former reagan democrat, that white working class guy looking dead into the camera and saying, this guy destroyed us. he took away our livelihood and he made us build the stage that we had to stand on to announce the end of our jobs. it was absolutely the most devastating ad, but what was also remarkable was the romney people had no response. look, they had a six-month lead time on this line of attack because remember something called winning our future pac? they ran a 27 minute ad of this same message. romney, because he survived in florida after that, he seemed to think i can get over this because he didn't respond. >> i talked to -- >> jane mayer, you write in your piece that sarah palin of all people thought that the bain ad had a negative impact on mitt
romney's candidacy. she thinks it worked. here she is on fox on election night. >> the realization at this point is that those bain capital ads that voters just got inundated with early on in ohio and some of the other areas as it pertained to the auto bailout really i think hurt romney. >> right. >> it seems to be -- >> ultimate compliment really. >> in a weird way, yeah. what do you think of her assessment that the whole focus on bain early on is what really put the guy in a situation he couldn't get out of? >> well, i think that's what some of the internal research showed, and what they couldn't believe, as you were just saying, was that the romney camp didn't respond to this because basically bill burton, who was the co-founder of priorities usa, said they thought any minute the romney campaign would have the opposite ad, where they would show guys who got jobs because of bain. people at sports authority or,
you know, places like that that were supposedly helped out by bain, but that ad was never made, and, you know, it's baffling to people like burton about why they didn't respond, but when i talked to romney people early on in the campaign they thought bain was going to be a big asset. they were describing romney as a job creator, and they just didn't see this counter narrative really, and one of the people who made the ad, saul shore, is a great old-time movie fan of frank capra movies, and i don't know if people know those movies, but they're all about like the little guy, the underdog who's facing some kind of authority figure who is corrupt and wealthy and unfair, and that tapped right into that american sentiment, that feeling of unfairness, and i think it really resonated. >> and -- >> i agree. i have seen all those movies,
and i love the character played by edward arnold who is always the bad political boss. you're right. it was always great to read your writing and reporting. i think all this began against the backdrop of 1% and occupy wall street, and it set up the idea there's more trouble in this country than just unemployment. that's trouble. but there's also this unfairness, and that pervaded, and they picked up on this in this ad. >> absolutely. what jane just said is exactly right. those are precisely the kind of people, the victim, the good stand-up guy who gets beaten down by the corporate villain in those frank capra movies. those are the people who seem to be invisible to mitt romney. they were invisible to him when he made the 47% remark. they were invisible to him when on labor day you had republicans saying, hey, job creators, this is your day. no, it was labor day. like there was this constant sense that those kind of guys, mike, was invisible to the gop, and that's why they lost ohio. >> thanks to mike. thank you, jane mayer, and thank you, joy reid. up next, the man on the verge of knocking out the tea party, congressman allen west,
i want to bring to your attention tonight one of the local new york groups that's doing great work helping with relief efforts in the wake of tropical storm sandy. i'd like you to get your pens out, by the way, and write this information down for yourself. it's on staten island called the dr. theodore atlas foundation run by a good man, teddy atlas,
whose father had treated the people of staten island for over half a century and was very much beloved. his group helps families year-round deal with real needs they can't afford. with so many families facing tragic need, teddy atlas is out there raising money to help them. here is how you can help this good man do good work. the website is dratlasfoundation.com. the address is dr. theodore atlas foundation, 543 cary avenue, staten island, new york, 10310. dr. theodore atlas foundation, 543 cary avenue, staten island new york, 10310. if you have seen the devastation caused by sandy, i know you want to get involved. it's a good thing to be doing, and i'll be right back. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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members as communists. all democrats of course. but following an expensive and bitterly fought race in florida. democrat patrick murphy is ahead in the vote count. nbc has not yet called the winner in this race. but patrick murphy joins us right now. . did you win this election? is it over? >> no question about it. we won this race. the three supervisors of elections in this district have called the race and the state did certify us as the winner this week. i'm ready to get to washington. >> do you think mr. west is certifiable? calling members of the house of representatives very specific. 78-71 members of the communist party. how do you run against a guy like that? >> i'm glad to put this campaign behind us.
i spent too much time talking about alan west. truthfully, i'm excited to get to work and get to work for this district and country. i'm tired of talking about alan west and really looking forward to moving on. >> were you able to get republican votes against him? >> quite a bit actually. we outperformed president obama in a couple counties by about 4 to 5%. so we did well with republicans. a lot of people reached out and said, look, i have been a republican my whole life, but i'm not going to support alan west. tell me about you. i told them about my background and we did very well with republicans. >> i do want to ask you about what happened to the republican party of florida. you used to have people like the first connie mac. then you had people like jeb bush who is not whack ed o out t
all. what happened to the party that described to this hard write right thinking? is it a trend for the future down there? >> i don't think it's specific just to florida. i think it's throughout the country. there's a lot of republicans that are confused right now. i get calls all the time from republicans that don't know which way to go because they fear the party is going too far right. the party is going to have to make a decision pretty quickly. if they continue going this far right, they are going to lose a lot of people and it's going to be a lot of victories for democrats. >> are we going to have a deal this christmas on the debt? >> i sure hope so. i think what this race showed for the country and the congress is that the american people want to put the country first. they are tired of the partisanship. 2010 was an interesting cycle. the american people want to come together and i hope our congress figures that out. that's a big part of what i ran
on and what i plan on doing. finding some legislation to put forward. >> i can only say the best of luck to you, sir. i hope you win this race. you look like you won it any way. patrick murphy, thank you. when we return, let me finish with a thought for those who are baffled by the presidential election. i know some people. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ dog 1 ] i am not a vegetarian! yeah, i might have ears like a rabbit... but i want to eat meat! [ male announcer ] iams knows dogs love meat. ...but most dry foods add plant protein, like gluten iams never adds gluten. iams adds 50% more animal protein, [ dog 2 ] look at me! i'm a lean, mean flying machine
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first of all, to all the veter veterans out there, thank you for your service to our country. let me finish tonight with this, though. i want to pay tribute to those baffled. i would want the compassion i would want. i was thinking to the days of the last lines from my favorite novel. it is the story of a successful man who wants more than anything what his money can't buy. he wants to go back to the world where he was in love and the world loved him. here's the great writing. e he had come a long way and his dream must have seemed to close he could hardly fail to grasp. it. he didn't know it was already behind him behind the city. he believed in the green light, the future that year by y